Also Good Bets: Today-Sept. 9

Photo by Clint Austin/News Tribune

Zinema 2 opens on Monday and will be showing "Moon," "Hurt Locker," "Food Inc." and a weekly happy hour showing of "Democracy Now." For a full schedule, go here. Also: Eyes on next weekend when the midnight show is "Big Lebowski."

You’ve seen him play with the Tisdales and Equal Xchange, now check out photography by Jason Kokal. His opening reception is 7-9 p.m. Thursday at Pizza Luce, 11 E. Superior St., and his work will hang until Oct. 7. Kokal’s nature photos were taken in Duluth, on the Iron Range and North Shore. His show is in memory of his friend and former bandmate Brad Rozman.

Arna Rennan is the final musician in the Sunday’s in the Park concert series at Prentice Park in Ashland. Rennan performs ballads of the middle ages, stev, work songs, immigrant songs, broadsides, hymns and dance tunes. She incorporates Norwegian history and instruments. The concert is at 2 p.m. Sunday and is free and open to the public.

Don’t forget that Labor Day Monday is Gunsmoke Lunch at RT Quinlan’s. A bit of wagon food and Season One of the long running Western. The show starts at noon, but Sparky the bartender warns that the place fills early.

If you’ve ever taken a road trip from Rochester, Minn., to Santa Fe, New Mexico in the middle of August in the late 1990s, you undertand the importance of the California-based pop band Smash Mouth, who performs at 8 p.m. Saturday at Black Bear Casino in Carlton. If not, there is also a good chance that you didn’t stand on a Rocky Mountain singing "All Star" either. 

Garrison Keillor performs with the Guy ‘s All-Star Shoe Band at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. Keillor, the host of "A Prairie Home Companion," joins Rich Dworsky et. al for the concert version of the show. Tix are $40-$65. Also, check out Different Drums of Ireland with McInnis’ Kitchen at 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Tix are $18-$28. McInnis Kitchen features four Celtic musicians with roots in Newfoundland, Cape Breton, Ireland and Scotland.

Scott Kirby, who was one of the winners at Big Top Chautauqua’s Songwriting Competition, performs at Sir Benedict’s Tavern on the Lake at about 8:30ish p.m. on Saturday night. The guitar player from Rhinelander, Wis., won prize money and the chance to open for Suzanne Vega’s show last weekend at Big Top.

The California band Coyote Grace (acoustic, indie, roots music) kicks off Open Mic night with a Happy Hour set at 5 p.m. on Sept. 9 at Beaner’s Central. This duo is comprised of upright bass player Ingrid Elizabeth and guitar player Joe Stevens. They’ve shared a stage with Indigo Girls, Melissa Ferrick, Cris Williamson, Lowen & Navarro.

Ben Hassenger is playing at Red Mug Coffehouse, 916 Hammond Ave., Superior from 8-10 p.m. Saturday. It is part of a tour through Minnesota and Wisconsin. The folk/comedy/pop musician has songs with titles like "Dog is my CoPilot." It is a free show, although donations will be accepted.

John Stowers is performing a free show at Fitger’s Brewhouse, 600 E. Superior St., at 10 p.m. Friday night. Stowers is an LA-based singer/songwriter who recently released "Everything You Do," a 14-track album. According to one reviewer, Stowers is what happens when you cross Crowded House with the Beatles and something else."

Storyhill’s Fest Midwest is this weekend in Deerwood, Minn. It is a take on the two-man bands festival in Montana and includes two days of camping and music, including Bill & Kate Isles. (Fun fact that shows my age: I remember when Storyhill was called Chris & Johnny. My goodness did the college ladies love them). Check out the lineup and the band’s check list of things to bring here.

I had a chance to see these two perform at Big Top Chautauqua recently and I have to say: They seem like the kind of people who would throw a charming dinner party with great wine. They are performing in the Minnesota State Fair Duet Contest from 2-5 p.m. Friday at the Heritage Stage.

Tis the season for Talking Volumes. The 10th Anniversary show of the public radio program will feature a blockbuster lineup including: Oh, Stephen King — perhaps you’ve heard of him? This little writer named James Ellroy and whats-her-name Barbara Kingsolver. And if you are the sort of person who likes good books, you’ve maybe used the pages of "The Time Travellers Wife" to sop up a mess of tears. That author, Audrey Niffenegger, is also in the lineup. Not to mention Monica Ali — whom David Sedaris talked me into reading a few years ago. (Well, actually, it was a room full of people. Regardless, no regrets after reading "Brick Lane.")

For more A&E throughout the day, follow me on Twitter.

Also Good Bets, a companion to the Wave’s Best Bets section, is a weekly feature that includes additional ways to fill your entertainment schedule for the next week.

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